JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

The gypsum plates swap

Monday 5 July

It is already Monday, and we are working again in the house. It is a little like eat sleep work repeat. Probably you never heard the song from Fatboy Slim with a similar title, but in the odd case you have, you might think I am referring to the song by Fatboy Slim, but I don’t. That song describes a person in a dubious situation, and we are in a much better situation. We are just in a very repetitive mode: Eat sleep work repeat.

Fatboy Slim made a remix of Greta Thunberg that gives me shivers when I hear it. I like that. In case you want to hear it, you can find it on YouTube here when Fatboy Slim was live at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne in January 2020.

Today my wife passed the course she has been working on, which made us very happy. My wife is collecting letter combinations in her job email signature. She is good at that, and I am proud of her.

This evening we did two gypsum plates on the south wall of the southeast bedroom. Eat sleep work repeat.

Tuesday 6 July

Today we finished the south wall of the southeast bedroom. I should better say we did it in the evening. We also had a short meeting with the road association.

It was a beautiful evening. I discovered that the sheep were trying to lie under the trailer we have in their current fencing area. Only one sheep fit under the trailer because it is a small trailer.

On the way home, the odometer of our car ticked an even number. Am I the only person collecting even numbers on the odometer of the car? Apparently, I reset the step meter 4000 kilometers ago.

Wednesday 7 July

In the morning I did office work from our old home. After lunch, we went to the new house. We came driving to the house I noticed something were wrong. Someone had dumped garden waste in our garden! They dumped it inside our barrier tape.

We also got some tiles tucked a bit into our garden. Okay, that was a border issue, but I don’t consent to this either.

We reached the house owner, and the contractor who did this was asked to remove it.

I really don’t understand why we need to go around and defend our borders. It is as if we provide an area in the neighborhood anyone can just abuse whatever they like. Apparently, I will continue to put up barrier tape for the foreseeable future.

My mood took a deep dive due to this event. It was actually hard to crawl back to the normal jolly Jens. Eventually, we got back to suitable work mode. We put two green gypsum plates in the southeast bedroom to finish the bathroom.

Then we started working in the west hobby room on the first floor. First, we put up the last two gypsum plates from the green stack. Then we finished the south wall. Here in the photo, we still had one plate to do.

So what should we do next? We decided to tidy up the second area that the sheep went grazing. It is an area on the west side of the house. We created a considerable heap of cuttings. It was hard work, but it looks nice. The grass had sprouted below the weed. Not overall, and evenly but it was not bad at all. We will need to locate bare soil and try to sow more grass there.

My neck has been sore until today. It started to be bearable while we worked with tidying up the second fencing area. It was nice to be able to walk freely around the fruit trees. The dyke looks nice when it is cleaned. The grass is growing well on the dyke.

In the evening, we got a message from the plumber that he will come tomorrow and finalize the bathroom wall on the first floor. That is beautiful because then we can put up the plates, and then that room got all sides covered in gypsum plates.

Thursday 8 July

Today we got a message from the plumber that he could not make it, but he promised he would come and finish the pipes in the bathroom wall tomorrow. That is fine as well; we were glad he was doing his best to help us.

Our son got his first vaccination today. Only our daughter left, but she told us that she might have contracted Corona for the second time in just ten weeks. That sounds like a medical nuisance. How is it even possible?

We came to the new house in the evening after a full day of work. Eat sleep work repeat. Nothing had happened with the garden waste that was dumped in the southwest corner of our garden.

The plan for the evening was to put up a plate or two on the north wall of the hobby room on the first floor. It went really well. We had the electricity in the west and east wall in this room, so it was super easy putting up the north wall. The plates came up as if we were on steroids, but we are not.

We came across one of these fancy metal brackets in the last corner that connects the two floors. I understand that the municipality really wants the upper floor to not fly off in a storm. That is why we got the metal brackets here and there in the house connecting the two floors. I wonder if the outer panel also keeps helping the house together. It is, after all, a couple of hundred planks, from top to bottom of the house. But let us not get cranky over the authorities. They probably predict tornados as standard in the Netherlands as in the Mississippi valley in the United States. I have no idea, actually. We got metal brackets, and we have to deal with it. Thankful for being in such good hands of the Dutch governments. The word for government in Dutch literally sounds like overhead. Can it be a coincidence?

We decided on trying something new. We cut the plate with an indent at the metal bracket. It was interesting to see how the gypsum would react to this creative solution. It did not break precisely as the paper was cut but close enough. It became a snug fit! That was an excellent end to a successful evening putting up gypsum plates.

One wall in one evening that is not bad at all. It was feeling as if we are getting better and better at putting up the plates. We are definitely getting more muscles, that is for sure.

When the gypsum work was done, we went outside to do a bit of pottering around in the garden. Give the sheep their food supplement, clean weed, and kill snails.

Friday 9 July

Today I did my office work from our old home. Much better, I worked concentrated and finished an essential part of the work. In the last couple of days, we heard that the number of Covid-19 cases in the Netherlands is surging again. It appears as if this surge is related to partying and holidays. People are fed up with Corona and lockdown, and now they think it is over, so let us party and restart it again. Covidiots! The result is that traveling to another country from the Netherlands will be restricted in various forms, and partying after midnight is restricted. It is sad.

There is good news, and there is bad news with the garden waste that got dumped in our garden. The top layer of the dirt is removed. Only 30% is left. Should we regard that as a piece of good news? One of our trees has been run over. That is the bad news. These threes are incredibly resilient. I ran over one of these with the excavator, and it came back, so this time I am not that worried, actually. We will need to support the tree with a pole to make the tree less wiggly until it is healed.

The plumber came to our new house today and connected the air pipe to the sewer system, which means that the bathroom wall can be finished! We added a few beams for the gypsum so we can mount the plates first thing tomorrow morning.

He told us that he would be back and finish installing the heat recovery system if we could arrange more space in the staircase. We promised to figure out how to do that.

Saturday 10 July

Today we first went buying more cable for the sheep fence before we went to the new house. We decided to move the fence today or tomorrow so that the ladies got fresh grass to eat.

When we got the cable, we went to the new house and when we arrived the sheep came running to greet us. I initially thought that this was a sign that they were hungry. We walked around in their area, and it did not look like they were running out of fresh grass. On the contrary, we decided to let them graze another day in their current place, and then tomorrow we can move them.

Then we started working on the gypsum plates. We finished the bathroom on the first floor.

Now we got two rooms that have all walls and ceilings covered with gypsum plates. It is the bedroom and now the bathroom.

With that, we started working on the northeast bedroom, the bedroom for our son. The gravity had done a lot of work in this room, so it was looking terrible. I took down the isolation material hanging in green tape. Some plates I fastened with screws. Then I removed all things we had lying on the floor to make it possible to work in the room.

Then we put up the plates on the north wall. There was one green plate left from the bathroom so that we used as well.

We finished the wall, and I felt that now we could continue, but there was an issue. We got gypsum plates in two versions: One got an indent only on the two long sides. Another got indents along all four sides. Ideally, we should use only plates with indents on all four sides of the plate for the rest of the first floor. Well, we have none left on the first floor. We only got those lying on the ground floor.

We discussed back and forth what to do and how to do it. It is not so that we even got enough of gypsum plates of the wrong type lying on the first floor. We will need to lift up more plates to the first floor anyway. After counting and estimating what we need, we figured out that some plates from the stack on the first floor need to be used downstairs, and plates downstairs need to move upstairs.

We mounted our manual winch in the ceiling in the staircase to see how to lift a gypsum plate. It went reasonably okay, but it was not excellent. It is hard on our hands when pulling up the plates. There are things to do to make it easier. We will need to think about what we can do.

After the trial of lifting a gypsum plate manually with a rope and a pulley, we decided to pick up Pommes Frites at the pomme farm. They got two hens walking around in that area. It is looking so lovely with the hens. I would like to have hens as well in the future.

After dinner, we started talking about moving gypsum plates up to the first floor. Moving up 50 gypsum plates to the first floor is a massive project. It is 1500 kilo together. The weight of our car is less than that. Obviously, we can lift one plate per time. Then if it takes 15 minutes to lift one plate, it takes one and a half-day to lift all the plates. But as I said, it is not that it takes time because no matter how we get the plates up, it will take time. It is about the hands dragging the line to get the plates up. It will not even matter if we get help from more people because the lifting moment is still crucial. We lifted isolation packages this way, and my hands took the damage. I did not want to repeat this.

I suggested buying an electrical winch. We started to search on the Internet, and we found an electric winch for a reasonable price. There and then, we ordered it! It was a winch to be used with a scaffold, and we have that. It will arrive in three days from now. I suppose that is Wednesday or Thursday next week. It can lift 400 kilos, with is way too much for our needs, but it was the cheapest in stock.

We went to bed, and you could not believe it, but I was dreaming about the winch. In the middle of the night, I woke up lying in bed staring out in the dark, thinking about the electric winch. I was glad I could convince my wife that we should buy the winch. I started to fantasize about how we can use the winch in the future. I concluded that everywhere we can build a scaffold, we can put up the winch to lift things.

A year earlier, I woke up once in the middle of the night realizing that you can build a party tent with a scaffold; this was the same feeling. A scaffold is so much fun. With that conclusion, I could sleep again.

Sunday 11 July

Today we decided to rebuild the scaffold to fulfill the wish of our plumber, that he can work with the installation of the heat recovery system below the staircase. Until now, we had a tower in the staircase with all four sides of short ledgers with the Crab 48 scaffold when we began. At first, the idea was to keep it like that but support the structure a little more. We scrapped that idea and decided to make the scaffold lift within its own perimeter. That way, we would not be afraid anything would fall over.

We succeeded in getting one leg of the scaffold to stop right above the place where the heat recovery system will be mounted. We achieved that by having an extra support leg on the first floor in combination with two diagonals.

The temporary stairs could still be mounted in the staircase. It was a three-dimensional puzzle to get all things right. It did not help that we only got two short diagonals for the Crab 48 scaffold. That is also the two diagonals supporting the north edge of the construction.

On the west side, we had two longer diagonals and one on the east side. We got more long diagonals in stock, but you can only have them in a section where you also used the longer ledgers. We did not know that when we started constructing the scaffold. When we got that figured out, we had to rearrange that we could use long diagonals.

When you look at the photos, it looks so simple, but please regard how it is to figure out how to create the structure and also do it. We did not want to disassemble the scaffold and rebuild it totally from scratch. Because of that, we had to put down a section. Stabilize it. Then build another section. Just to get to the top of the scaffold, I had to put up temporary ledgers.

Now we have the structure, and it is stable. We can put up the winch on this, and it will be exciting to get up the first plates. Until now, it is only theory. Will it all come together like we are hoping?

While we worked on our French Crab 48 scaffold, it started raining. It is so good it is raining from time to time. The grass is growing really well in these weather conditions. Until now, we got lucky with the grass. I did more research on the Crab 48 and it is produced and also sold in China but it appears to originate from France from Entrepose Echafaudages. I do understand if you don't share my enthusiasm for scaffolds but perhaps you like Lego?

When done building the scaffold, it was time to move the sheep to a new location. The current location was not exhausted on grass and things to eat, but our sheep have not really figured out that grass is good stuff. We thought if we let the sheep stay in the current area, they will need to move during the following week. The thing is, we don’t necessarily have the time to move them in the middle of the week. Today our son was with us so he could help us with the fence.

The new area was going to be along the edge of the plot. I got permission from one neighbor to have them grazing a little bit on the edge of his plot. The requirement was that they would not nibble on the bushes that he planted along the edge. That is fine. I can ensure that. This way, we could create a good area for the sheep to eat. Perhaps something they can eat on for two weeks. When I took the photo, I still had it in fisheye mode from taking photos of the scaffold.

This concludes this week of work in the house. We are booking progress, but it is not quick. We are doing our best. Next week the winch will arrive, that will be interesting.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.